Charles Rowbotham's work reflects his fascination with the interaction of people and places in the context of city life. He has always been drawn to what goes on in and around cafes, bars and theatres as they are a great source of insight into the lives of others. He himself loves to walk the streets of London and Paris for hours at a time, discovering the inherent beauty of scenes that we rarely notice. "When people ask what inspires me to paint, I tell them its really just observing people going about their daily lives, We are social creatures, its what makes us human. For me painting is a human way of capturing moments in the places where people meet and talk."
There is no better time to record these places than at night. Painting during the evening allows Charles to capture a vibrancy that is invisible during the day. Shops throw out light onto streets and when the cafes close for the evening, the bars and theatres take over. These intimate meeting points instinctively draw our attention and it is these places that the artist believes make a city so dynamic and alive.
Narrative is an essential part of his work. His intention is to create a loose impression of a moment, but to show enough for the audience to identify with elements of the scene. Film has been a major influence on him and he has always loved the way that a good movie will take you to another place. With his paintings, he offers his viewer a snapshot of someone else's life for just for a moment, and then leaves them to write the story, or make up the remaining frames.
Charles painted and drew from childhood. He was brought up in a house dominated by art, with two highly successful artists as parents. He himself always dreamt of becoming an artist, but knew that the road to achieving his ambition was likely to be fraught with hardship. He read Architecture at university but disliked the rigidity of working for a large firm so decided to paint in his spare time as an outlet for creative expression.
Selling his first painting gave him such a buzz that he decided to put together a small exhibition. After a sell-out show Charles realised that there was potentially a career ahead of him. He went on to rent out a studio where he began to develop his ideas and forge his own direction. His vibrant impressions of café society and late night city streets have appeared at series of successful solo shows in London. He has also enjoyed a superb joint show with the country's leading impressionist artist Sherree Valentine Daines at Clarendon Fine Art in Mayfair.
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